Toddler dies from meningococcal
A TODDLER from the New England region has died from a confirmed case of meningococcal.
It is the fourth case of meningococcal disease in the Hunter New England region this year.
Public health physician Dr David Durrheim on Monday expressed the district's condolences.
"This is a tragic event and our sympathies are with the child's family at this very difficult time," Dr Durrheim said.
"Clearance antibiotics have been prescribed to close contacts of the child to eradicate any meningococcal bacteria they may be carrying and prevent further transmission.
"Meningococcal disease can occur at any time of year, but we do typically see a peak in cases in spring following the winter flu season," he added.
Meningococcal infection does not spread easily.
It is spread by secretions from the nose and throat of a person who is carrying the bacteria.
Close and prolonged contact is needed to pass it on.